What are the most influential books in your life?

It is no secret that I am a bibliophilia (i.e. a lover of books). It is a strange thing as I used to hate books – that is until 4th grade when my brother and his best friend turned me onto Louis L’Amour. The rest, they say, is history.

Recently a friend was asked what where the top 10 influential books in his life – a task that proved to be very difficult. So much so that he decided to limit himself to 22 books.  Today I have decided to follow his example and list the top ten most influential books in my life (and yes, I have kept my list to 10).  🙂

The Short List (i.e. this is my running list of books that have had the most impact on my life)

1) “From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya : A Biographical History of Christian Missions” by Ruth Tucker (1989)

This book fueled my love of following the Goose to the crazy parts of the world. It also started me on the journey of enlarging my view of the Global Church.

2) “Foxe’s Book of Martyrsby John Foxe (1563)

A faith builder for sure. Oh to have a faith like these saints! May the Lord grant me the strength to stand firm each day.

3) “Breakthrough: Discovering the Kingdom” by Derek Morphew (1991)

Kingdom Theology 101: Probably the most influential theological book I have ever read.

4) “The History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum; or, The Unity of the Brethren, Founded by the Followers of John Hus” by Edmund Alexander de Schweinitz (1885)

The story of a group of people who followed God in the craziness times; it is also the story of my life.

5) “Ecclesiastical History of the English People” by Bede (731)

Reading Bede did two things to me: 1) he taught me that God sometimes uses objects and places to further his purposes. 2) He also introduced me to the Celtic believers of old.

The Longer List (i.e. books to which I keep returning)

6) “The Presence of the Future” by George Ladd [Formerly Titled: “Jesus and the Kingdom”] (1996)

Kingdom Theology 601: This is the book that laid the foundation for inaugurated eschatology.

7) “The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative” by Christoper J.H. Wright (2006)

Wright strung the pieces of the Old and Net Testament into one beautiful pearl necklace. It is also the only book I have read that has made me want to read the Torah. 😛

8 ) “Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer Is Awakening a Generation” by Pete Greig and Dave Roberts (2003)

One of the catalysts God used to move me to Sweet – and the beginning of a journey into the postmodern culture/mindset.

9) “Muslims, Magic and the Kingdom of God: Church Planting Among Folk Muslims” by Rick Love (2003)

By showing how magic and folk religion affected the lives of Muslims in Asia, Rick Love opened by eyes to how Christians use a form of ‘magic’ to manipulate God and the church.

10) “God Of The Empty-Handed: Poverty, Power and The Kingdom of God” by Jayakumar Christian (1999)

I was so happy when I finished this book – not because I it was over – but because it refueled my desire to help those in poverty. The book also changed my view on poverty and those who are caught in its trap.

Now that you know my top ten – what are yours? (don’t worry, you don’t have to list why unless you want too).